The small border town of Chirk lies in the Ceiriog Valley; the homeland for three of Wales most notable poets: Huw Morus (1662-1709), Robert Ellis (1812-1875) and John Ceiriog Hughes (1832-1887). Chirk Castle was one of several medieval Marcher fortresses sited on the Welsh-English border. Once the home of Sir Thomas Seymour, who married Catherine Parr (Henry VIII’s widow), it has been lived in almost continuously for 700 years. The magnificent 100 feet high stone railway viaduct was built in 1846 by Scottish engineer Henry Robertson, to facilitate the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway. The adjoining aqueduct was built in 1796 by Thomas Telford and William Jessop to carry the Ellesmere Canal.
Slater’s Bridge can be found at Little Langdale near Ambleside, Cumbria. It is a slate packhorse crossing dating back to the 17th century, and became a listed building in 1967. The bridge is thought to have been created by miners working in the nearby Tilberthwaite Fells. Alexander Craig Gibson (folklorist and antiquarian) called it “an exquisite and unique specimen of a style of bridge all but extinct, and a century later, Alfred Wainwright called it “the most picturesque footbridge in Lakeland.”
I’ve never considered myself a cat-lover – I always gravitate more to horses and dogs, but I can’t resist a poser! The silver tabby was especially beautiful; discovered roaming the grounds of the historic house Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant. One of the hard-working cats at the stables has one blue eye and one green eye; a feline form of heterochromia, I learn. I imagine a more enviable job for a cat is that of the pub cat, always in a warm spot in the window. The black and white cat is a regular visitor to my garden and likes to stare me out.
Conwy Castle is a fortification in Conwy, located in North Wales. It was built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales, between 1283 and 1289. Constructed as part of a wider project to create the walled town of Conwy, the combined defences cost around £15,000, a huge sum for the period. The 2017 Medieval Festival included jousting and battle re-enactments.
The Carneddau Mountain range in the Snowdonia National Park is home to around 300 Carneddau ponies whose history is thought to date back to the Bronze Age. Although they are not a rare breed as such, they are genetically distinct from the more well known Welsh Mountain pony. These ponies roam over some 20 square miles of mostly inhospitable terrain above Bethesda, Llanfairfechan, Capel Curig and Conwy.
The annual gathering of the Carneddau ponies: https://janruth.com/2018/11/05/the-big-picture/
Carneddau ponies as therapy ponies: https://janruth.com/2017/11/18/with-or-without-you/
The Great Orme is a limestone headland on the north coast of Wales, north-west of the town of Llandudno. The name is derived from the old Norse word for sea-serpent. A compact area for walking at just 2 miles long and a mile wide, the headland is often bathed in its own weather system and the geology, wildlife, archaeology and landscape is of such importance that much of the Orme has been designated an Area of Conservation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Heritage Coast. An especially scenic church, St. Tudno’s has been a site of Christian worship since the 6th century. Sermons can be open air during the summer, a tradition since 1857. Other services include Carols by Candlelight in December, and special celebrations on St. Tudno’s Day on 5 June. Far reaching and diverse views from the summit of the town and coastline, and the distant peaks of Snowdonia.